Search ends after presumed drowning near Kenosha

CREATED Jun. 17, 2013 - UPDATED: Jun. 19, 2013

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KENOSHA - The Coast Guard has ended their search for a man who went missing Monday while swimming in Lake Michigan near Kenosha.

Earlier Tuesday, the Coast Guard identified Benjamin T. McCarter, 31 of Kenosha, as presumed drowned after the Coast Guard called off the initial search.

TODAY'S TMJ4 learned the incident happened at the North Lighthouse Pier near 51st Place in Kenosha before 6:00 p.m. Monday night..

Searchers were trying to rescue a man in the water for hours. 

Two other people reportedly tried to rescue him, could not, then got out safely. One of the people, a woman, was able to grab him, but could not hold on.

"They did they best they could to save him," said friend Manny Murillo.  "It's not their fault."

Police say McCarter went under the water and did not resurface.

Kenosha Fire and dive rescue crews worked through late Monday evening, but called off their search for the night.

They announced Tuesday morning they would not continue their search, unless any of the man's belongings are found.

Loved ones remember McCarter

"We have to be strong for him, because we know that's what he would want us to do," said Murillo.

By many accounts, he was McCarter's best friend.

The pair loved the water, and the rush brought on by jumping into the waves of Lake Michigan.

"Just that excitement of doing something new, conquering fears if you fear jumping off of higher points in the water."

McCarter was boasting to friends that he would take the plunge.

"He had been talking about going off of that pier for the past two weeks," said Murillo.

Ben's friends are trying to focus on happy memories, but they're mindful of the dangers that led to the disappearance.

"I wouldn't want to put my family through this, or the rest of my friends, because if I go out there and I jump or fall victim, what would we have learned from this tragedy."

For now, McCarter's friends and family will watch for any sign of the young man, hoping for a sense of closure.